Whether pedal-assisted or capable of self-propulsion, electronic bikes have become increasingly popular among biking enthusiasts and recreational cyclists alike. A recent industry report found that U.S. e-bike sales increased by 83% between 2017 and 2018, accounting for 10% of bike purchases.
If you are considering purchasing an e-bike yourself, you should know that these types of bicycles handle a little differently than traditional bikes due to their greater weight, lower center of gravity and potential for faster speeds.
1. Practice mounting and dismounting
Mounts/dismounts are where many injuries occur even on a regular bike. E-bikes can be significantly heavier, so you may want to practice getting on and off before your first ride.
2. Get used to how your bike accelerates
It may take some time to get used to how the pedal assist function works. Make sure you have gotten comfortable with the lower assist settings before turning up the power. Keep in mind that, depending on the e-bike, you may not need to use the higher settings unless you are climbing a hill.
3. Learn to brake earlier
Having more speed, power and weight also means that your e-bike may take longer to brake safely. Make sure to practice braking before hitting the open road, and learn to begin slowing down well ahead of intersections, signals and potential obstacles.
4. Be extra cautious around traffic
While monitoring traffic flow is always important, it is especially true for e-bike riders who may be traveling faster than motorists expect. Monitoring your speed, staying visible and keeping an eye out for distracted drivers may help you to avoid a collision.